Thursday, December 17, 2015

Bureau of Land Management shows contempt for property rights

By Chance Weldon 

Since 2008, the Bureau of Land Management has claimed up to 90,000 acres of private property inside Texas along the Red River as federal land. For nearly seven years, affected property owners along the river tried to settle these disputed titles with BLM. And for nearly seven years (and counting), BLM failed to come to the table.

Last month, those property owners — represented by the Texas Public Policy Foundation's Center for the American Future — filed the federal lawsuit of Aderholt v. BLM to end BLM's arbitrary seizure of their homes. In the past two weeks, the state of Texas and the Texas General Land Office have joined this lawsuit.

In response to this lawsuit, the resulting opposition and a growing barrage of bad press, BLM released statements claiming the lawsuit is premature but that "BLM remains committed to working with adjacent landowners, counties and other stakeholders through our ongoing planning process to properly identify the extent of federal holdings in the Red River."

Really? BLM has been making the same promises since 2008 — all the while grabbing more property and stonewalling anyone who dissents. Those empty promises have done nothing to help countless property owners who now have a cloud on their title.

...BLM's version of working with the property owners turned out to be nothing more than holding a few public meetings to ask for their input in determining how the newly seized property would be managed as public lands. The property owners attended and asked a BLM representative how BLM could manage land that it did not own. BLM's response made its position on the matter perfectly clear: It was going forward with the management plan anyway, and if you don't like it, "You'll have to talk to a lawyer."

Pay attention Texans, the members of your Congressional Delegation, led by the Republicans therein, are getting ready to give BLM more money for doing just this kind of thing.  They are REWARDING THE BLM for this kind of behavior.

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